Schoolteacher Molested Children for Years, But Parents’ Concerns Brushed Aside

By Jane Lin
Jane Lin
Jane Lin
August 12, 2013 Updated: August 12, 2013

An elementary school teacher in southeastern China’s Jiangxi Province was sacked for sexually molesting seven school girls, causing six of them to be infected with genital warts. But when angry parents asked for compensation from the city authorities, they were told that they should have kept quiet.

The story was first revealed by the Shanghai-based Xinmin Weekly Magazine on Aug. 9.

According to the report, six of the girls were all second graders, aged between eight and nine, in the same class in an elementary school in Ruichang City, a rural city where many parents work out of town and the left-behind children are under the care of their grandparents.

The victims said their 63-year old head teacher Tao Biaogong started touching them soon after they entered first grade.

The molestation took place in the classroom, either behind Tao’s desk or in the last row, where Tao put his hands, often dirty with chalk, into the girls’ underpants. Tao would also summon them to his office, asking them to wait in line to come in so he could “help with their homework.”

One of the girls told Xinmin Weekly: “Sometimes when we had self-study in the classroom, Mr. Tao would give me a pat on the back and led me to stand in front of the chalkboard behind his desk, where others couldn’t see anything. He would put his hands inside my underpants.”

She added: “One girl sat in the last row, and he just went straight to her to touch her. No one dared to turn their heads to look.”

The girls said Tao was savage as a teacher, and would use wooden sticks to punish students. He warned them many times not to tell anyone about what he was doing.

Molested for Two Years

The abuses might have been kept secret after two years if it was not for a mother who noticed there was something wrong with her daughter. One of the girls, Xiaoxia (an alias), visited her mother Ms. Jian in Hangzhou City during summer vacation. One day in early July Xiaoxia’s mom noticed that her daughter’s genital area was red and swollen with warts.

Under questioning, Xiaoxia said the head teacher had touched her. Afterwards, a medical exam showed that the girl was infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).

Ms. Jian soon learned that five other girls in her daughter’s class were also victims, and soon afterwards, it turned out that they were also diagnosed with HPV infection.

After a gynecological told the parents that HPV has high rate of recurrence and may lead to cervical cancer, the parents took their cases to the Ruichang City authorities and asked for compensation.

The female vice mayor and educational bureau chief Jiang Xianzhi, however, said they had handled the cases responsibly by removing the teacher and the headmaster. She proposed giving each parent 50,000 yuan ($8,168), far less than they had hoped for.

Then, in a remark that inflamed passions on the Internet, she added that if she were the mother, she would “quietly” take her child out of school and “not ask the government for a penny.” Jiang’s remarks drew furious criticism.

Liu Kaiming, Director of China Institute for Contemporary Observation, called the remarks “extremely shameless.” “This is poor and irresponsible supervision on her part. She should have taken on the responsibility instead of shirking it,” Liu told Sound of Hope Radio, based outside of China.

“As a woman and a mother, you are supposed to protect women and little girls. Saying that demonstrated typical Party nature and inhumanness in you,” one netizen wrote.

According to Shanghai Daily, a string of child abuse, mostly in primary and middle schools, have been exposed in China this year.

“What’s happening to our country,” another netizens said, “Teachers molest and rape students. Doctor sells babies. Judges hire prostitutes. Can we save a country like this?”

Jane Lin
Jane Lin